We’re excited to see that we’re not just talking to ourself, The Economist has written a special report on the Nordic startup scene with the subtitle, “The Nordic region is becoming a hothouse of entrepreneurship”. Next week’s cover issue will have a nice focus on the Nordic countries, as shown by their released cover.
As huge fans of The Economist, we recommend you read it for yourself for a good outside prospective on the scene.
What’s your take on the article? The main concern about our entrepreneurship scene raised is:
Despite all this entrepreneurial energy, the Nordic region still finds it hard to turn start-ups into enduring companies. There are too many examples of successful entrepreneurs who have upped sticks and gone elsewhere. These include not just members of the post-war generation such as Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of giant IKEA (who lives in Switzerland), and Hans Rausing, the founder of Tetra Pak, a huge packaging company (who went to live in England), but also members of the up-and-coming generation. Mr Zennström, along with many of the brightest Swedish investors and entrepreneurs in his age group, lives in London. Too many successful start-ups still choose to sell themselves to foreign (mainly American) multinationals rather than becoming local champions.
We’re biased, but I hope the mentioned student revolution led by Startup Sauna will keep companies at home.
What do you think it will take to make regional companies stay in the Nordics? Obviously more volume and hype on local exchanges, like NASDAQ’s First North is one main reason we’re not IPOing at home, but are we reaching the tipping point where companies no longer need to move to London or the Valley? Things are indeed happening here.